Fan of birdwatching? We asked Cornell Lab of Ornithology expert Tim Gallagher for a roundup of the best places to spot New England birds.
By Tim Gallagher
Apr 15 2017
Osprey with Alewife, Damariscotta, MEPhoto Credit : Ennis, Richard
We asked Tim Gallagher, editor-in-chief of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Living Bird magazine and author of numerous books, for his picks for the 5 best birdwatching spots in New England and 5 honorable mentions for where to spot New England birds.
This off-shore island is the place to see nesting puffins, as well as common and arctic terns, the common eider, razorbill, black guillemot, and common murre. Other pelagic species, such as shearwaters and jaegers, are usually seen on the trip out and back to the island. Three licensed tour operators can land on the island; the shortest trip is from Cutler, Maine. Time to go: mid-June to mid-July. Bay of Fundy, Maine. neseabirds.com/machias.htm
This tract of state forest land is crisscrossed by timber roads. Spruce grouse, gray jay, boreal chickadee, northern saw-whet owl, rusty blackbird, warblers, black-backed woodpecker, and the common raven are all highlights. Pittsburg, New Hampshire. nhconnlakes.com
This southern tributary of Lake Champlain along the Atlantic flyway is famous for its Canada- and snow-geese migrations, with numerous migrant waterfowl and shorebirds. These cattail-dominated wetlands and agricultural lands are home to more than 200 bird species. Addison, Vermont. 802-759-2398;
About an hour by ferry from Port Judith in Narragansett on the mainland, this small island on the edge of the Atlantic flyway hosts a wide variety of habitats, including scrubland, dunes, beaches, and ponds. The refuge covers about 30 percent of the northern end of the 12-square-mile island; the rest is private property. Great birding spring, summer, and fall. 50 Bend Road, Charlestown, Rhode Island. 401-364-9124; fws.gov
This spit of land jutting into the Long Island Sound was used by the Army to test ammunition during World Wars I and II. It’s now a state park with a 286-species checklist, including 20 types of sparrows, 15 warblers, and 26 different ducks. 1288 Boston Post Road, Madison, Connecticut 203-245-2785; ct.gov/deep/
Where are your favorite places to admire New England birds?
This post was first published in 2011 and has been updated.